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Smart devices

Advice for smart device users

 

Smart device

  • Use a screen lock on your smart device (code, pattern or fingerprint) and, if possible, use the automatic lock setting (the device automatically locks when not used for a certain amount of time, e.g. one minute).
  • A smart device is basically a small, powerful computer, which may also need virus protection. Install virus protection software on your smart device (find out from the manufacturer what virus protection software it has).
  • Don’t leave your smart device unattended in public (café, cinema, etc.). Your smart device probably contains a lot of information and data that you need. If your smart device is stolen it can also lead to financial damage, e.g. if someone uses your account to buy something.
  • Don’t just throw your smart device away without a second thought. Delete the data and take it to a special processor – most parts of a smart device can be reused.
  • Regularly change the log-in password on your smart device. The harder it is to access the content on your device, the better protected you will be.
  • Change the initial PIN of your SIM card. That way it will be considerably harder to guess should the device fall into someone else’s hands.
  • Delete all data stored on the device if you decide to sell or exchange it. If you don’t, the next owner of the device may abuse the data. This could also cause potential financial damage. Ask your mobile operator for help if necessary.

 

Apps and services

  • Check the background of apps before you download them (look for background information on the Internet and read reviews by others). Also read the Privacy Rules.
  • Keep an eye on the rights the app requests when you download it (these are displayed when the app is downloaded). Use your common sense and don’t download apps that request rights that have no logical connection to the app. For example, why should a game request the right to read your e-mail?
  • Constantly update the software on your smart device and applications (using the latest versions).
  • Use the official stores of smart device manufacturers when buying apps, such as App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android).
  • If a smart device is shared by family members, check which applications your children are using and what data they request.
  • Check whether the app/game contains in-app purchases. If necessary, disable this in settings.
  • In the case of WiFi networks, it is advisable to use those that are safe (password-protected). It is easier to hack into a device in a network that is not password-protected.
  • When you order goods from e-shops, you should be as careful as with any other purchases to prevent possible material damage. Further guidelines can be found on the website of the Consumer Protection Board at http://www.tarbijakaitseamet.ee/et/tarbijale/e-kaubandus. The same website contains a list of shops that ignore the requirements arising from law: http://www.tarbijakaitseamet.ee/et/ametist/e-poed-kes-ei-taida-seadusest-tulenevaid-noudeid.
  • Use Mobile ID to log in to e-services on your smart device and to sign documents digitally, like you use your ID card on a computer, as this is the safest option. You can get a SIM card with Mobile ID from your mobile operator.

 

Data and information

  • Check what data an app requests and whether it really needs the data. For example, when you download a torch application, does it need access to your e-mail?
  • Use different passwords for different applications. This reduces risks. For example, if one of your passwords gets hijacked, you can carry on using other services and applications.
  • Try to avoid using the ‘remember me’ option in applications. This makes it very easy for potential criminals to access your data.
  • Create separate user accounts for all users on a tablet (e.g. yourself and your child).
  • When you share things in the smart world, they no longer belong just to you – you are sharing them with the whole world. Always read the privacy rules if possible and choose the most conservative settings.
  • Think about what notifications you want to see on the screen. Others can also see them if you leave your phone unattended.
  • Find out where the privacy rules of applications are and read them.
  • Use encryption, because if someone else hacks into your device or gets their hands on it, they will not be able to access important information such as work-related correspondence or contracts.
  • Save (back up) the data on your smart device externally (e.g. in cloud servers), if possible. Many smart device manufacturers offer this option because it means you will not lose all of your information should you lose the device. Doing this reduces the potential damage you may suffer.

 

Source: Website of the Smart Protection 2017 project at www.nutiturvalisus.ee